The Federal Government has engaged the Northern Traditional Leaders Committee (NTLC) on Primary Health Care Delivery (NPHCDA), in an effort to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Addressing the committee online in Abuja on Tuesday, the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, said the engagement was part of ongoing efforts to curb community transmission of the virus.
He said that NTLC’s contributions to the fight against COVID-19 were strongly needed.
The minister said the emergency meeting was called to continue discussions on how the traditional leaders could further galvanise response toward the pandemic.
He appreciated NTLC for continuous support for the Federal Government.
Ehanire said that the government was counting on them to mobilise, sensitise, and monitor activities within their domains.
“We are faced with a pandemic that is ravaging our communities; hence, the need for us to work together to save our communities and our dear country from the grasp of this deadly virus,” he said.
In his remarks, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer, NPHCDA, said it had become pertinent to tap into the experience of the traditional leaders who, he said, were partly responsible for the success of polio eradication efforts in Nigeria.
Shuaib reiterated the need for their assistance in stopping COVID-19 from overrunning their communities.
“How can we stop the wave of transmission?” he asked.
He also said that engaging Da’awah Coordination Council of Nigeria (DCCN) for contributions to COVID-19 response was important.
He implored DCCN members to sensitise and create awareness on preventive measures toward halting community transmission of the virus.
He acknowledged the efforts of the DCCN toward polio eradication and urged religious leaders and scholars to properly educate their communities on the dangers of the virus and the need to safeguard themselves.
He urged observance of a minute silence in honour of the late NTLC Chairman and Shehu of Bama, Alhaji Kyari Umar Ibn El Kanemi.
Recall that Da’awah Coordination Council of Nigeria is a network of over 40 Islamic groups.
It has been supporting polio eradication and routine immunisation services, with its members spread across all states and Abuja.